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100 Greatest Guitarists: David Fricke's Picks

15

Carlos Santana


Carlos Santana
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15/100

The piercingly pure tone of Santana's guitar is among the most recognizable sounds in popular music. A towering musician who brought Latin rhythms and jazz improvisation to rock, Santana formed the first lineup of his namesake band in 1968. His varied influences — from Mike Bloomfield and Peter Green to Miles Davis and John Coltrane — resulted in a singularly innovative approach. A fiery, impassioned soloist, Santana articulates fluid passages that culminate in lengthy sustained notes. From Santana's career-breakthrough performance at Woodstock in 1969 to the 2000 Grammys — where he won eight awards for Supernatural, tying Michael Jackson's record — Santana has remained a compelling musician with a devotional spirituality fueling his muse.

 
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